Intimidating Stance Teams

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Written by Reika

Overview

Intimidating Stance Teams are built around the powerful Intimidating Stance passive, which reduces the enemy's Press Turns if going second. These teams aim to out-slow the enemy, denying their Press Turns and unleashing powerful attacks on the counter-swing.

Concept

  • Intimidating Stance removes a Press Turn from the opponent if going second. This ability may not stack more than twice.
    • As such, there are two flavors of Intimidating Stance Teams: Single Stance and Double Stance
  • Going second also gives your team additional MP. This allows you to fire off stronger attacks without using Divine Brands.
  • These teams typically run slow but bulky demons, with the aim of going second, surviving the initial turn and countering hard on their next turn.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Going second gives you access to more MP and in turn stronger attacks.
  • Flexible team composition, can easily adjust battle speed depending on team members. Useful for revenging.
  • Can safely ignore the speedwar as the team aims to go second anyway.
  • Low barrier of entry: The team can be built using fuseable demons.
  • High damage ceiling, depending on how much you invest into the team.
  • Highly resistant to Meta shifts: These teams have been around since game launch and will continue to remain relevant for a long time.

Cons:

  • Best options are Gacha and Banner exclusives.
  • Will be at a disadvantage is out-slowed. This makes them prime targets for revenging.

Team

Now lets go in-depth as to how to build this Team.

Core Demons

There are five demons in the game with the Intimidating Stance passive. As this effect does not stack more than twice (using more than 2 will cause the third to not remove any PTs), you should pick at most two demons from the list below for your party. Note that even though Masakado's passive is not named Intimidating Stance, it still has the same stack restrictions.

Masakado

Masakado.jpg Masakado

  • The OG PVP Nightmare, Masakado is a physical powerhouse who is still one of the most powerful demons in the game.
  • His unique passive Warlord's Wrath not only provides him Intimidating Stance, it also gives him Phys Pierce and a 100% Counter on receiving Physical damage.
  • His signature Occult Flash is a high-damage, high-critical single target Physical skill that inflicts Mortal (instant Death).
  • Innate Vorpal Blade gives him a powerful AOE against teams without Physical Anti-Pierce.
  • Both Purple and Teal can be used depending on team composition:
    • Purple gives him Phys Amp, greatly amplifying his damage.
    • Teal gives him Drain Phys, making him a good partner for Rama's Drain Pierce (allows Drain resistances to invalidate Pierce effects).
  • Masakado is the best Stance demon period. Use him if you have him.

Skills and Brands:

  • Phys Boost and Epitome of Carnage are good options to boost his damage.
  • Great Aim and Epitome of Aggression can be used to patch up his shaky accuracy.
  • Auto skills allow him to further support his team. Players who run this build typically use him purely for inflicting Mortal via Occult Flash.
  • Usually runs Life brands to compensate for his rather low HP. Aim brands are the recommended sub-set.

Atavaka

Atavaka.jpg Atavaka

  • Has Intimidating Stance in purple.
  • His unique active Enemy Annihilation fully debuffs the enemy before firing off a powerful Piercing AOE Physical attack.
  • His other unique, War Aid, increases his accuracy and acts as Anti-Pierce: While he is alive, Repel Resistances will negate Pierce effects.
  • High STR, decent HP with low AGI makes him the perfect Stance demon.
  • This combination of abilities make him a highly flexible unit.
  • Atavaka is the only Stance demon with an Anti-Pierce and also the only one with a debuff skill.

Skills and Brands:

  • Phys Amp is a good option to boost his damage.
  • Great Aim and Epitome of Aggression can be used to patch up his shaky accuracy.
  • Auto skills allow him to further support his team.
  • As Enemy Annihilation has a high MP cost, most players choose to run Divine Brands. Life brands can also be used to increase his HP. Aim brands are the recommended sub-set.

Surt

Surt.jpg Surt

  • Has Intimidating Stance in Clear.
  • Tetra Shift synergizes well with Stance, and is great to catch teams running leads without Phys Pierce / cheap attacks.
  • Ragnarok is a single-target Nuke that hits extremely hard despite his low MAG.
  • On the downside, his AI is notoriously bad for defense if not running Divine Brands with maxed Ragnarok.
  • Surt is the only Stance demon with a Magic focus. Use him if you desire a balanced team.

Skills and Brands:

  • Surt can be run as either a Nuker or a Support.
  • If run as a Nuker:
    • Fire Amp and Fire Boost are good options to boost his damage.
    • Divine Brands are recommended on Defense, as the AI will default to Berserker God after the first maxed Ragnarok without it.
    • Spell Brands can be used for Offense, or if you are confident of winning after a single Ragnarok on Defense.
  • If run as a Support:
    • Auto skills allow him to further support his team.
    • Life Brands are useful for increasing bulk.

Zhong Kui

Zhong Kui.jpg Zhong Kui

  • Has Intimidating Stance in Purple.
  • High STR and LUK lets him hit hard and crit for Press Turns.
  • Innate Auto-Taruka increases your team's damage.
  • On the downside, he does not have Pierce and his accuracy is shaky at best.
  • Being a 4 Star, Zhong Kui is a very accessible source of Intimidating Stance. He can also be deliberately capped at Level 1 to forcibly lower your own Battle Speed.

Skills and Brands:

  • Phys Pierce (weak) prevents him from being walled by Phys NDR and Tetra Shift.
  • Auto skills allow him to further support his team.
  • Evade and Dodge can be used to run an Evasion build, considering his high LUK.
  • Due to his high luck, he can also run Ailment skills like Mahashibabooon.
    • Consider running Sick Brands with Ailment Infliction % stats if running him as such.
  • Life brands can be used to increase HP. Aim or Dodge brands are both acceptable sub-sets depending on role.

Baihu

Baihu.jpg Baihu

  • Has Intimidating Stance in Purple.
  • The earliest fuseable Stance demon. As he doesn't do much, he is typically run as a support and capped at Level 1 to reduce Battle Speed.
  • Cheapest Stance demon, though you should really consider fusing a Zhong Kui or Surt to replace him

Skills and Brands:

  • Endure and Enduring Soul increases his survivability (important for sustaining Press Turns).
  • Dodge and Evade can be useful to bait the AI into auto-attacking him.
  • Auto skills allow him to further support his team.
  • Life brands can be used to increase HP. Dodge brands are the recommended sub-set.

Supporting Demons (Attackers)

Supporting demons that go well in Intimidating Stance teams tend to be slow, bulky and have high-MP cost attacks (for attackers). The section below lists some of the more popular options, though it is by no means a comprehensive list (feel free to explore other demons that tickle your fancy!)

Guan Yu

Guan Yu.jpg Guan Yu

  • Guan Yu is a bulky physical sweeper that has low AGI.
  • His signature Dragon Blade does heavy damage to a single target, and chains into an AOE physical sweep.
  • His unique passive Loyal God of War heals him and refunds MP upon killing an enemy.
    • Paired with his excellent STR, HP and VIT stats, he can quickly snowball off kills and extra Press Turns generated from crits. Not only does Loyal God of War keep him healthy through healing, it allows him to repeatedly spam Dragon Blade from the MP refund.
  • Both Purple and Teal can be used depending on team composition:
  • Guan Yu is one of the best demons for Intimidating Stance Teams. There is little reason not to use him if you have him.

Skills and Brands:

Mother Harlot

Mother Harlot.jpg Mother Harlot

  • Mother Harlot is a slow Mage who excels in Almighty damage, while having a Charm ailment focus.
  • Death Lust automatically charms her opponent at the start of her first turn, while increasing her damage versus charmed enemies. This is particularly potent with her Panel 1 automatically applying Barrier Break if going second.
  • Babylon Goblet deals heavy AOE damage and drains 1 MP all enemies.
    • The MP drain allows her to spam the attack repeatedly, provided the opponent hasn't run out of MP.
    • It also punishes greedy builds that run non-Divine brands, as it messes with their overall MP regeneration.
    • Panel 2 will randomly charm enemies after casting Babylon Goblet. Considering how spammable this skill is, it is not uncommon to see entire teams charmed by the end of your turn.
  • Purple is the recommended color as it provides Deadly Charm to increase her damage towards Charmed enemies.
  • One of the best options for consistent Magic damage. She is not an explosive sweeper, preferring to slowly grind down her enemies via MP drains.

Skills and Brands:

  • Butcher can be used to increase her damage.
  • It is recommended to cover up her weakness with Resist Force, as Force is a popular attacking element.
  • Life Brands are recommended to increase her overall longevity. This gives her more chances to spam Babylon Goblet.

Supporting Demons (Supports)

Asherah

Asherah.jpg Asherah

  • Asherah possesses the best Ressurection spell in the game, Mother's Creation. It is a full HP revive that also generates a Press Turn, allowing your revive target to immediately act in the same turn.
  • Naturally bulky, she can also double as a cleric with Silent Prayer in Yellow, or act as an Ice Anti-Pierce in Teal when paired with Atavaka.
  • Pairs well with Orcus as she has two open weaknesses.
  • Unfortunately, her AI is easily exploitable as she has two high MP spells (Maragion and Mediarama) she will gladly waste MP on if no allies are dead.
  • One of the best support demons in the game, you can't go wrong running her.

Skills and Brands:

  • Null Bind and Null Charm allow her to play the role of Cleric in Yellow. Beware teams that tech Mute though.
  • Epitome of Fortitude boosts her already impressive HP and provide her Critical Resistance, which is important considering her low LUK stat.
  • Auto skills allow her to further support her team.
  • Life Brands are usually used to make her even tankier, though Divine can be used if you constantly run into MP issues. Shield or Guard brands are the recommended sub-set for increased bulk.

Ananta

Ananta.jpg Ananta

  • Ananta is the only demon in the game who possesses all 3 Auto-buffs in Purple.
  • He is typically used as a hard support, and as such can be capped at Lv 1 for speed control.
  • If you are looking for an Auto-Buff mule, consider running Ananta.

Skills and Brands:

  • Auto-debuffs further his role as an Auto-mule.
  • Most players tend to ignore Ananta as he doesn't do damage. Recarmdra can help to turn the tables in such scenarios.
  • Evade and Dodge can be used to run an Evasion build.
  • Life Brands are usually used to make him tankier. Dodge brands are the recommended sub-set.

Orcus

Orcus.jpg Orcus

  • Orcus is a slow, bulky support demon that can also double as a buff control unit.
  • His first unique passive, Law of Hell prevents the enemy from gaining Press Turns when hitting Weakness. This directly feeds his second passive, Hell's Gate which provides your entire team AOE reduction depending on how many weaknesses are open.
  • Innate War Cry and Nocturne in Yellow give him powerful buff control.
  • Consider him if you need a support that can also exert buff control for your team.

Skills and Brands:

  • Samarecarm lets him revive a fallen teammate.
  • Auto skills allow him to further support his team.
  • As he is very MP hungry, Divine Brands are recommended. Shield brands can shore up his magic resistance, making him even tankier.

Hecatoncheires

Hecatoncheires.jpg Hecatoncheires

  • Hecatoncheires is a slow, tanky support mainly used for his unique passive, Guards of Tartarus which reduces all AOE damage your team receives by 15%.
    • This is especially good to soften up damage from Archangels and V☆ teams.
  • Due to his high HP, he is usually left for last. As such, Recarmdra is a great skill for him as it will revive all his fallen teammates in exchange for his life.
    • The AI is also smart enough to save MP for it. This makes him one of the better demons for Defense teams.
  • Unfortunately, he is weak to two very common attacking elements, Light and Force. Consider covering at least one of them.
  • Consider him if you prefer a more defensive approach to PVP.

Skills and Brands:

  • Enduring Soul can provide him a layer of insurance, helping to ensure he gets to cast Recarmdra. It will also prevent Recarmdra's feedback damage from killing him.
  • Life Brands are recommended to boost his bulk further. Shield brands can shore up his magic resistance, making him even tankier.

Gogmagog

Gogmagog.jpg Gogmagog

  • Gogmagog is a slow demon typically run as a support due to his excellent Panels.
  • His panels provide the entire team Physical reduction (-15%, cannot be pierced) and Crit Resistance (30%), useful against Hero Masakado T1 Teams.
    • He is also an easy demon to fuse, making P3 a reasonable goal to strive toward.
  • He gains Repel Phys in Teal. When paired with Atavaka, this lets him act as a Phys Anti-Pierce unit.
  • His three weaknesses make him an ideal partner for Orcus to give your team massive AOE reduction.
  • Consider him if you need a Repel Phys support to pair with Atavaka.

Skills and Brands:

  • His huge bulk and Phys Repel means he is usually left for last, making him a suitable Recarmdra carrier.
  • Auto skills allow him to further support his team.
  • Life Brands are recommended to boost his bulk further. Shield brands can shore up his magic resistance, making him even tankier.


Finalized Team

To recap, your finalized team should typically look something like this:

  • 1st demon should have high Crit rate to start the crit chain.
  • 2nd demon should be Masakado A.
  • 3rd demon should have high Crit rate to generate another press turn.
  • 4th demon is flexible, though an AOE is appreciated at this point.

High Speed Hero Masakado

ArchClear.png Kartikeya.jpg Kartikeya
Skills
Phys Pierce (weak)
Savage Glee
Brands
Speed, Speed
Requirements
40% speed
ArchPurple.png Masakado A.jpg Masakado A
Skills
Herculean Strike L
Speedster
Brands
Divine, Speed
Requirements
15% speed
ArchPurple.png Susano-o A.jpg Susano-o A
Skills
Phys Amp
Speedster
Brands
War, Aim
Requirements
15% speed
ArchPurple.png Cu Chulainn A.jpg Cu Chulainn A
Skills
Force Amp
Speedster
Brands
War, Aim
Requirements
15% speed

Assuming maxed AGI Mitama on everyone, the above team can reach 40k Battle Speed, enough to outspeed the majority of the metagame. Both Susano-o A and Cu Chulainn A are capable of unleashing their unique skills Turn 1, and Masakado A can mop up any remaining demons with Herculean Strike L.

Anti-Midrange Hero Masakado

ArchPurple.png Shiva A.jpg Shiva A
Skills
Butcher
Great Aim
Brands
Spell, Aim
Requirements
15% speed, P2 unlocked
ArchPurple.png Masakado A.jpg Masakado A
Skills
Epitome of Swiftness
Speedster
Brands
Divine, Speed
Requirements
40% speed
ArchPurple.png Asura Lord.jpg Asura Lord
Skills
Assassin
Savage Glee
Brands
Divine, Aim
Requirements
15% speed
ArchRed.png V☆.jpg V☆
Skills
Butcher
Serial Killer
Brands
Spell, Speed
Requirements
15% speed

Unlike the high speed version above, this variant sacrifices speed in order to improve the matchup versus Intimidating Stance Teams and Drain Teams. Assuming maxed AGI Mitama on everyone, the team can still reach ~27k Battle Speed (enough to outspeed Midrange Teams) while still running offensive passives and brands on the main attackers. All of the attacks are Almighty element, allowing the team to counter Drain Teams.

A typical battle versus double Intimidating Stance Teams (5 initial Press Turns reduced to 3) will look something like this:

Checks and Counters

While very oppressive, Hero Masakado teams are by no means unstoppable. There are several ways to counter them on both offense and defense.

Outspeed

Uriel.jpg Uriel

Nekomata A.jpg Nekomata A

Garuda A.jpg Garuda A

  • Hero Masakado teams are glass cannons, being outsped is usually a death sentence.
  • Speedy teams like Archangels can outspeed and decimate them T1.
  • This is especially true versus the Anti-Midrange variant that sacrifices speed for power.

Crit Resistance

Passive.png Wild Instinct Passive -75% to Critical hit rate of damage received.
Passive.png Epitome of Fortitude Passive +20% to max HP, -50% to Critical hit rate of damage received.

  • As Hero Masakado teams rely on crits to generate press turns and have highly optimized turn orders, missing a single crit can be game-losing.
  • Crit Resistance swings this in your favor, especially versus Hero Masakado defense teams as the AI will always try to attacking low LUK demons for Press Turns.
    • Bulky Demons like Asherah who have low LUK are the best carriers of the skill, as the AI will likely target her and fail to crit.
    • She also appreciates the extra HP granted from Epitome of Fortitude.

Bulky Teams and AOE Resistance

Orcus.jpg Orcus

Asherah.jpg Asherah

Nidhoggr.jpg Nidhoggr

Quetzalcoatl A

Quetzalcoatl A.jpg Quetzalcoatl A

  • Quetzalcoatl A is a deadly Fire mage that is capable of dealing high amounts of damage, thanks to having innate Fire Amp and Butcher.
    • His unique passive Ce Acatl automatically revives him if he is dead at the start of your turn, and refunds a Press Turn icon.
    • Paired with Nidhoggr (who is almost guaranteed to survive) or another tank like Orcus or Asherah, Ce Acatl will automatically bring him back to life the next turn, letting him sweep with two Aztec Pulses (pass on the tank).

Intimidating Stance

Masakado.jpg Masakado

Atavaka.jpg Atavaka

  • Less press turns = Less turns for Hero Masakado teams to deal damage.
  • Asherah is a very good teammate, as Mother's Creation allows her to revive your sweeper with an extra press turn for the counter-sweep.
  • Beware the AntiMidrange variants though, which are crafted specifically to counter these teams.